Jan
06
2012

An Enthusiast’s guide to cocktails: the Sazerac

–Christian

Sazerac Bar—Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

The Sazerac is one of the oldest cocktails still commonly consumed today. Invented around 1830 in New Orleans (where all the classics seem to have come from) by a Creole apothecary from the West Indies named Antoine Amadie Peychaud, the drink’s original recipe called for cognac, bitters, sugar and a dash of water. Incidentally, this concoction was pretty much the only cocktail recipe back in those days—something now referred to as the Old Fashioned.

Antoine’s particular approach and proprietary bitters were so popular that bars (or “Exchanges”) all over NOLA started serving it. Legend has it that a man named Sewell Taylor, owner of Merchants Exchange Coffeehouse, was serving the drink at his bar when he became the sole importer of Sazerac-du-Forge et fils Cognac. Shortly thereafter Aaron Bird took over the Merchant’s Exchange from Taylor, who had gone full-time into importing, and changed the name to Sazerac House after the liquor in their signature drink. And the first branded cocktail was born.
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Mar
09
2011

An Enthusiast’s guide to cocktails: the Ramos Gin Fizz

—Christian

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, the culmination of all that is Mardi Gras. In honor of (the day after) this auspicious drinking occasion we wanted to share a classic New Orleans cocktail, the Ramos Gin Fizz. Not to be confused with standard Gin Fizzes, the Ramos is a unique pleasure that was originated down in the Big Easy back in 1888 by a man named Henry C. Ramos.

At the time it was simply called the “New Orleans Fizz” and was so popular that Ramos had to hire a crew of “shaker boys” during busy times just to keep up with demand. In recent years the cocktail’s popularity has dwindled (likely due, in part, to a specific and essential ingredient that is rather hard to come by). Although I personally grew up drinking them with my family every year on Christmas morning.
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